Passing Glances

Digging in her heals as she pounds upgrade with a mile long freight in tow, Milwaukee Road S2 # 218 receives a thorough inspection under the discerning eye of the tower operator at Duplaineville Wisconsin in Waukesha County while on the other track, racing eastbound at nearly 90 miles per hour The Morning Hiawatha’s engineer has the whistle cold pulled taught, warning all vehicle traffic at Springdale Road to heed the wig-wag’s warning as he takes the Hi toward Milwaukee and eventually Chicago.

Once the Milwaukee’s work horses clear the diamond, the block signal will turn green for the Soo Line freighter that has been forced to hold tight coming out of Waukesha.

With but mere seconds to take it all in, engineers, tower men and passengers could garner nothing but passing glances of one another as their individual journeys met at this point day after day throughout the golden age of railroading.

18 X 24 original acrylic painting was completed in 1995.

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Second Strings of the Milwaukee Road

On any given day, Milwaukee’s Everett Street depot was a beehive of activity. While most attention was showered upon the infamous Hiawatha’s, other less noteworthy trains were also vital to the Milwaukee Road’s overall success.

Ready to depart as soon as the last few pieces of mail are stowed onboard, “The Berlin Bullet”, pulled by the shop built 1000 h.p. gas electric streamlined motor car #5900, will tow an extra combine car that will be cut at Horicon for the Portage train. Often referred to as “Bulldogs” for their prominent flat nose, the 5900 routinely served the smaller branch line communities off of the main line trackage until her discontinuance in March of 1958.

Resting impatiently in the center of the train shed is Pacific #885 ready with the all stops “Cannonball” and 2 heavy weight coaches for Watertown and Madison Wisconsin.

The change over to diesel powered equipment was well underway as evidenced by the presence of the Fairbanks-Morse #21A alongside the shed. Known by the road as “Erie-Builts”, these streamlined units were constructed in Erie Pennsylvania before the FM plant in Beloit was operational. The 21A will cut out 3 cars and take a shorter “Varsity” to Madison arriving well ahead of the Cannonball.

Forever playing “second-fiddle” to the Hiawatha’s, these trains did not receive the notoriety the more famous of the Indian fleet received, but were no less important to the countless riders and communities who depended upon them every day.

The 3 modes of power represented, steam, gas-electric and diesel, each had its own unique note that most certainly struck a chord with those who were fortunate enough to be a part of their history.

24 x 30 original acrylic painting was completed in 2009.

I hope you enjoy my paintings. If you are interested in purchasing prints, cards or any other items be sure to click on the link and visit my store.

Reflections of the Past

Late on an October day in the piney woods of Northern Wisconsin, Milwaukee Road’s Chippewa # 152 clatters the C& NW diamond at Stiles Junction and finally gets a break from the cold rain she’s bucked all the way from Iron Mountain. Directly behind the rebuilt Pacific’s tender is baggage car #1210, who’s dubious career had her first sharing drew bars with the likes of the Olympian Hiawatha and the Southwest Limited before being reassigned to the Chip. Still clad in her original pin stripe paint scheme, this car will soon be repainted with the solid maroon band common in all of the Hi’s. As the sky clears, the proud 4-6-2 catches reflected glimpse of her streamlined frame from the standing water of a run-off pool just south of the depot.

18 x 24 original acrylic painting was completed in 2002.

I hope you enjoy my paintings. If you are interested in purchasing prints, cards or any other items be sure to click on the link and visit my store.